For the second time in nine days, two players hit three home runs in a game on he same day.
Mo Vaughn homered in his first three at-bats Tuesday night to lead the Boston Red Sox to a 13-8 victory over the Baltimore Orioles and Willie Greene homered three times to lead the Cincinnati Reds to a 6-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs.
Frank Thomas of the Chicago White Sox and Benito Santiago of the Philadelphia Phillies accomplished the feat on Sept. 15.
For Vaughn, his effort came a day after getting the game-tying and game-winning hits against the American League East-leading New York Yankees. On Tuesday at Boston, he had five runs batted in against the Orioles.
"We're trying to spoil it for everybody," Vaughn said after hitting his 44th homer and getting his 201st hit of the season. "I'm trying to spoil everybody's fun."
Baltimore has lost five of eight and dropped 4 1/2 games behind first-place New York, which was rained out. The victory put the Red Sox three games behind the Orioles in the wild-card race with five to play.
"It's that time of year when every game is important for a lot of people," Baltimore Manager Davey Johnson said. "I'd say realistically we are [playing for the wild card and not the division]."
Vaughn is the first player with at least 40 homers and 200 hits since Jim Rice, currently Boston's batting coach, had 46 and 213 in his most-valuable-player season of 1978.
"I know [Texas outfielder Juan] Gonzalez is having a great year, and other players are having great years," Oriole first baseman Rafael Palmeiro said. "But [Vaughn] is the MVP of the league. If it wasn't for him, I don't know where that team would be."
Vaughn struck out in the seventh inning and had an RBI single in the eighth, failing in his effort to become the 13th player to homer four times in one game.
As the season winds down, Greene is earning big points for next year as he led the Reds over the Cubs at Cincinnati.
The third baseman has been impressive enough in the last half of the season to convince Manager Ray Knight that he belongs somewhere in next year's plans.
"What I've learned from Willie is that he can flat-out hit," Knight said. "What I've learned is yes, Willie Greene can be a big-time run producer, but I don't have a position in mind that he can play yet."
As long as he is in line to play somewhere, Greene doesn't really care.
"If it's going to keep me in the lineup, I'll play anywhere," said Greene, who turned 25 Monday and had never hit more than one homer in a game. "I just want to show what I can do. I'm in shock. I still can't believe it."
Greene's homers came in the first, fifth and seventh innings.
Hal Morris also homered for the Reds to extend his hitting streak to 24 games.